Palace steers clear of Senate war
It’s a tiff between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, and Malacañang does not wish to be part of it, Secretary Edwin Lacierda said Thursday, denying any Malacañang-instigated coup against the Senate leader.
Lacierda, presidential spokesperson, said it was up to Enrile to press charges over what he called Trillanes’ “treasonous” acts in his back-channel negotiations with Chinese officials to resolve the row over Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea.
“If he believes it’s treasonous then we’ll leave it with him if he intends to file any criminal case or complaint against Senator Trillanes,” he said at a Malacañang briefing.
On whether Malacañang gave its blessings to a “Trillanes-initiated coup” against Enrile, Lacierda said: “No.”
“We’ve said before that we have good relations with the Senate and the Senate President,” he said.
“For now, we have no reason to question the ability of the Senate President. He has been very, very cooperative with most of the administration measures,” he added later.
Over radio, Trillanes, who announced he was bolting from the majority and joining the minority in a privilege speech on Wednesday before tangling with Enrile, readily admitted that he wanted Enrile replaced, and that he would even work for it.
Lacierda refused to comment on whether Malacañang would block any move by Trillanes against Enrile. “That’s not something I’m privy to or competent to answer,” he said.
“We have not discussed that with the President,” Lacierda said when asked if the President would reconsider Trillanes’ inclusion in the administration senatorial ticket for the 2013 midterm elections.
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